Bob, the son of a World War I veteran and a school teacher, grew up on Manette Place in Dayton, OH. He played on the basketball team and was the Junior Class Vice President. He excelled at math and the sciences and as a junior he received the highest grade in the state on the advanced algebra tests. He graduated with his girl friend, Nancy Rife, in 1948 and together they were elected king and queen of the High School Prom in their senior year; they later married and were blessed to celebrate their 50th anniversary together in 2003.
Before his sophomore year at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, Bob was awarded an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. He graduated with honors in 1953. He entered the USAF as a second lieutenant and became a navigator in B-57 aircraft. He served 3 years as an aviator in France and Germany. He then attended the University of Michigan, graduating in 1960 with two Master’s Degrees, in Aeronautical and Astronomical Engineering. He left the Air Force after serving 10 years. In 1964, Bob joined the Space program at NASA, and he and Nancy, with their three children, Cindy, Carol and Bob Jr., moved to Washington D.C.
Bob worked on the two programs that led the USA in meeting their goal of a Man on the Moon. He was Chief of Mission Planning for the Project Gemini which launched 10 manned missions into space then he was Chief of Operations Planning for the Project Apollo Moon landing. He directed the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Systems Division from 1978 to 1983 and received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal for his work in correcting the path of the $100 million communications satellite when it fell in 1983. He became associate administrator for NASA’s entire space program in 1987
Bob frequently said that of his many educational experiences – Miami U., the United States Naval Acad. and Michigan U., his years at Stivers were always his most favorite. In addition, he pointed out that over the years his math teachers at Stivers were instrumental in his career as an officer in the USAF and as a project32 manager in NASA. Bob passed away in 2006.